Press reports in Australia recently indicate that the organisers of the Commonwealth Games, which will take place in Australia’s Gold Coast region next year, are considering the use of counter-drone (C-UAV) technology to ensure control and safety of the airspace surrounding the event.

Australian company Department 13 is said to be preparing to demonstrate its MESMER C-UAV solution in the coming weeks. Unlike most other systems, MESMER does not employ kinetic effect or jamming techniques to neutralise a potentially dangerous drone, but instead relies on a technique known as protocol manipulation. This low-power solution offers minimal interference with other legitimate signal sources in the affected area, thus limiting the potential for collateral damage. Target UAV controls are co-opted and taken over by the MESMER operator, who can bring the drone in for a safe landing at a chosen location.

MESMER’s software and integrated antenna system has already been demonstrated to Australian defence and law enforcement units. Australia has some experience with the negative effects of uncontrolled drones, with recent incidents including UAVs hitting the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House and several stationary cars.


Department 13’s MESMER counter-drone technology will shortly be demonstrated to the organisers of next year’s Commonwealth Games (Photo: Department 13)

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